The Significance of Mercutio in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

1945 Words8 Pages
The Significance of Mercutio in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is about two lovers whose families are at war and how the two overcome the family feud for their love for each other. Mercutio is one of the central characters in the play; he is one of the prince's kinsmen and is best friend to Romeo of the Montague household. The name Mercutio is derived for the word mercurial which means eloquent, active and changeable; Mercutio is all three because through out the play he changes his mood from a light-hearted joking to fiery insults in a short time. Mercutio is very persistent and is always ready to do things which again show the relevance of his name because of his activity. Mercutio is also very eloquent using a very good choice of words to humiliate the target for instance he uses an oxymoron to insult Tybalt by calling him "the very butcher of a silk button", when saying this Mercutio uses the vicious word "butcher" and then contradicts it with a very delicate and soft word of "silk button" thus suggesting he is very effeminate and that he is better at sewing than fighting. Mercutio has many major impacts on the play and the characters, for example, Mercutio influences Romeo greatly and in many ways, he also provides a lot of drama and humour to the play. Mercutio in addition provides an alternative view of love to Romeo's very thoughtful view, Mercutio illustrates all of the main themes of the play as well and Mercutio is the catalyst of all of the tragic events in the whole play. It will be those affects that I shall be looking on. Mercutio is a significant influence over Romeo. The most obvious eff... ... middle of paper ... ...ect on Romeo's choice to commit suicide because with the apparent death of Juliet at that point and the death of his best friend Romeo would have had very few people to speak to about the deaths and to console him. I think Mercutio is quite successful when showing the themes of the play, like the theme of tragedy and fate are shown very well with his death, and the theme of tragic love is made known in two scenes, his speech about the great ancient beauties and his own death with Romeo's reaction and sorrow. These all help predict the biggest part of the play, the deaths of Romeo and Juliet because after Mercutio's death the play gets darker and introduces more sorrow, such as Romeo's exile then Juliet's marriage announcement and the loss of the message to Romeo about Juliet's fake death and finally the double suicide.
Open Document